Making the popular Forth and Clyde canal towpath safe for cyclists and walkers

Carrying out essential repairs to the canal towpath at Falkirk has enabled its many users to continue using it for everyday trips by bike and on foot
The challenge

The Forth and Clyde canal towpath is a popular route that is well used by local people and visitors for leisure cycling and walking, and by commuters who work at the nearby industrial estate. In fact, so many people were using the route that it was starting to show signs of serious wear and tear. In particular, walkers and cyclists were finding it difficult to navigate the route after wet weather when large puddles formed on the path.

The solution

The Portrait Bench has made an end goal for the children to go up and down the towpath. It’s a great route that’s safe and away from the road plus it has the added benefit of teaching the children the importance of water safety.

- Mhairianne Vickers, Primary School Teacher, Bainsford Primary School

The scheme involved a programme of vital upgrades to the route to fix the problems. The aim was to enable people to continue to enjoy the route and make everyday journeys by bike or on foot. The work included removing potholes, resurfacing the path and increasing its resistance to water erosion. The upgrades have formed part of an overall project that is creating a key link between the Falkirk Wheel and The Helix, an exciting new local attraction.

The difference

The towpath connects numerous schools, residential areas and employment sites and the upgrade work has improved conditions for the many people who use it for leisure trips or for everyday journeys to work or to school. The extension to The Helix will enable visitors to access this new outdoor recreational area by bike or on foot. The path also forms part of a longer distance route across central Scotland from Glasgow to Falkirk which is well-used by visitors to the area.

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